blog » January 30, 2018 by Nicole DeAvilla

#30Seconds "State of the Union 2017" With Founder & CEO Elisa All Schmitz & Senior Digital Producer Donna John! by Nicole DeAvilla

6 years ago
#30Seconds "State of the Union 2017" With Founder & CEO Elisa All Schmitz & Senior Digital Producer Donna John!

We were excited to bring you a behind-the-scenes look at 30Seconds with founder and CEO of 30Seconds, Elisa All Schmitz, and Donna John, our Senior Digital Producer. Elisa and Donna drew back the curtains and let us in on the new developments and the phenomenal growth of the 30Seconds platform and our wonderful tribe of dedicated, caring and powerful contributors and community.

Elisa has been going nonstop her entire personal and professional life. Raising three kids while growing her first business (a labor of love), iParenting, was a thrilling roller coaster ride that culminated with iParenting being sold to The Walt Disney Company. After working for Disney for two years, Elisa embarked on her next chapter, which may blow the doors off of the first one. With her husband, she's now blending their family of seven (!!!!!!!) kids   six of whom are in college  while she grows her second labor of love,

Donna has worked with Elisa for nearly 20 years, starting as a writer for iParenting then working her way up to Senior Editor, all while raising her three children in Texas, where she was born and raised. After iParenting was acquired by The Walt Disney Company, Donna worked for Disney for five years. The stars re-aligned to enable Donna and Elisa to work together again at 30Seconds. Like Elisa, Donna's kids have grown up along the way. In fact, she is now a grandma to an adorable 5-year-old grandson!

Q: Elisa, what motivated you to start 30Seconds?

It was an evolution, really. After I sold my first business, iParenting, to Disney, I realized the next frontier in media was mobile. After working for Disney for two years, I decided my next entrepreneurial journey would be to reach #moms on mobile with great content and community built for the next generation with the latest technology. My a-ha! moment was in the school carpool line. I saw so many moms glued to their phones, with so little time to themselves. I needed to reach them in “snackable” moments, when they grabbed those seconds for themselves. 30Seconds evolved from there.

I started 30SecondMom as a way to get inspiring tips and ideas to moms in the same amount of time it takes them to watch an ad on TV. If we can deliver an ad in 30Seconds, why not a great idea or inspiring story? 30SecondMom took off, and the rest is history (in the making). We have grown to become That’s why we now use the #30Seconds hashtag instead of #30SecondMom.

Q: What were some of the highlights of 2017?

I’m excited to say we blew the doors off 2017. What started as a site for moms has now grown into a powerful media company devoted to inspiring content and supportive community across six content channels! We went from being simply Mom, to now having Mom as one of our six channels. The other five are FoodHealthBeautyTravel and, our most recent channel, DAD!!! So excited to welcome fathers to our growing community. Dads bring a unique perspective to our content and community. Mike Prochaska is one of our most active dad contributors. He’s amazing!

We also launched our 30Seconds Rewards Store. This is the place where community members select prizes and “buy” them for free using time they have collected by engaging on 30Seconds! You can get everything from 30Seconds T-shirts and wine glasses to books and products created by tribe members, and items provided by sponsors. 

In response to requests from companies wanting to work with us, we launched our business portal. This is where brands and others connect with us about sponsored content, Twitter chats, brand ambassador opportunities, Rewards Store and  30Seconds Favorites Awards

We also launched our 30Seconds Live broadcast program! This is where we interview amazing members of our tribe, other noteworthy folks and even work on behalf of brands. 

Q: What can we expect in 2018?

I’m so excited about this year! Hard to imagine topping last year’s growth, but we are sure going to try, LOL! First of all, we are growing our community and tribe. Can you believe we already have more than 400 featured contributors on 30Seconds? It brings me joy every time I see a new author’s first tip on!

With that growth comes all kinds of new content ideas. For example, this week, we just launched our Faith/Spirituality category! We are looking forward to seeing that category grow. I may be most excited about the impending launch of our 30Seconds Groups. By listening to our community, we know the areas that they would like a “deeper dive” in. Groups are designed to provide that more intensive experience. I want to be in all the Groups, LOL!

Q: Tell us more about the new Groups feature!

Groups are led by subject matter experts and are designed to provide more in-depth content, videos, printables and a private community that only members can access. Group leaders are passionate and knowledgeable about the subject of the Group. With our team at 30Seconds, they design a theme of the week that often is accompanied by a video “lesson” or idea to try. A weekly newsletter will include the theme and topics of the week. There will be a daily post to the private community and engagement in that Group to spark discussion, answer questions, etc. Knowledge and inspiration will be shared, community will be strengthened and relationships formed, all with like-minded individuals seeking to inspire and be inspired around the same topic! We will be sharing more information about our 30Seconds Groups soon. But I would like to know what you guys think about this new feature?

Q: What are you most excited about that is happening on 30Seconds?

While I am excited about our team, our tribeour community and our growth, what I love most at the end of the day is that we are making a difference in people’s lives. That’s what drives me! I want 30Seconds to be that safe place where you can go to share, to be inspired, to feel better about the world and about yourself. That’s why we like to say we are making a difference, 30 seconds at a time!

I also want to say how amazing it is to be working with Donna again. So lucky to have her at my side at iParenting, then Disney. What a blessing to have her back with me at 30Seconds! She and I work so well together that we can finish each other’s sentences and inspire each other to come up with better and better ideas. She pushes me (in the gentlest way possible) to become better in all that I do and aspire to do! I can’t imagine being on this journey without her on my team. I’m very grateful for her, as well as Nicole DeAvilla and Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead. I also want to thank Kim KusicielMike ProchaskaMeredith SchneiderHolly Budde and Chef Gigi for their dedication and hard work! #goteam

I have many more tribe members who I would love to thank, but the list would be very long, and we really need to put Donna on the hot seat now, LOL!

Q: OK, Donna! Your turn! Who can be a 30Seconds contributor?

Anyone with a passion! Whether it’s parenting advice, a favorite recipe, beauty tip, opinion on current events, at 30Seconds, we believe everyone has something valuable to share! 30Seconds contributors get a dedicated profile page on the site, a powerful community and supportive tribe of awesome women and men. The community shares your tips and content across their social channels to help you reach new audiences and grow your personal brand. It’s a win-win!

Know someone who would love to contribute to 30Seconds? Send them our way! We love adding new members to the tribe. Let us shine a light on you!

Q: How many characters are in a 30Seconds tip and do contributors need to provide images?

The character count is 1,200 (way more than Twitter!), but you can put extra text in the “Notes” section, and you can always reach out to me directly if you have more to say. We do publish longer tips, but can also edit for length, if needed. Remember: the point of 30Seconds is to make a difference in someone’s life in the same amount of time it takes them to watch an ad on TV! If you have an image for your tip, send it in! We do require high-res images, and horizontal works best for our format. But images are not required. We will select a beautiful stock image for your tips.

Q: What’s it like working with Elisa the second time around?

Amazing! Elisa has been a big part of my life, and it was a blessing to get to work with her again at 30Seconds. She’s an incredible colleague and friend. As with my iParenting days with her, work never feels like work. It’s a labor of love. Truly. I’m honored to be on the 30Seconds journey with her. #LetsDoThis!

Q: What’s the best part of your job? What do you enjoy most?

Working daily with the powerhouse group of contributors and my 30Seconds colleagues. The enthusiasm is contagious! I laugh, cry and have so many a-ha! moments when editing the tips, and learn something new every day. And don’t get me started on the photos! Picking the perfect photo is a passion, and I do get carried away sometimes! LOL! And now add seeing the incredible growth at 30Seconds. It’s so much fun to be part of!

Donna John, Elisa All Schmitz and Meredith Schneider at the Dean & Deluca Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas, 2017.

Meredith Schneider, Donna John, Holly Budde and Elisa All Schmitz at the Dean & Deluca Invitational, 2016, enjoying mimosas!

Holly Budde, Elisa All Schmitz, Meredith Schneider and Donna John enjoying time together at the Dean & Deluca Invitational in 2016.

Elisa and Donna for a night out after the Dean & Deluca Invitational in Fort Worth, 2017 (no hats!). 

Nicole DeAvilla
I can already feel the electricity in the air! This is not to be missed!
Elisa Schmitz
So excited! Can’t wait to chat with our tribe about all the exciting things happening at 30Seconds!! ❤️
Ann Marie Patitucci
Can.not.wait. #goteam #loveourtribe #30Seconds
Meredith Schneider
Ahhh! So excited for tomorrow’s #30Seconds Twitter chat! xoxo 😘
Chef Gigi
Jessica Acree
Such great details on the journey to create #30Seconds! Loved learning more about where you've been and where this year might take the tribe! #countmeincoach

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